Sherman County eNews #234


  1. Sherman County Court Notes, Sept. 7

  2. Sherman County School District Board Meeting, Sept. 12

  3. Car is King + Maryhill Arts Festival, Oct. 1 & 2

  4. Honduras & Peru Optometric Mission Team Photo Slideshow, Sept. 19

  5. Strengthening Families: Free Parenting Class Series, Sept. 27-Nov. 8

  6. Oregon’s Drought Taking Heavy Toll on Conifer Trees

1. Sherman County Court Notes, Sept. 7

ShermanCoLogo~ By Administrative Assistant Lauren Hernandez

(A brief summary of topics addressed – not official minutes. For details, please see the official approved minutes posted after the September 21 Court session on the Sherman County website at

The Sherman County Court met in regular session on September 7, 2016, and in conducting the business of the county,

  • heard from the Sherman County Ambulance Board and Shawn Payne, Emergency Services Director, an invoice for Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) classes in the amount of $2,401.70 has not been paid by South Sherman Fire & Rescue (SSFR); an agreement was made verbally that SSFR would reimburse Sherman County Ambulance for the cost of SSFR students to take the class; grants were received for the class from Sherman Development League for $10,000 and from Apple A Day Grant for $2,500; grant funds did not cover the entire cost of the class, so Sherman County Ambulance contributed approximately $2,500; the class cost approximately $1,700 per person, but Shawn was able to bring the cost down to $600 per person with grant funds; the purpose of the class was to train more personnel, as all emergency service entities in the county struggle to find volunteers; Shawn stated there was a misunderstanding about not allowing volunteers from Grass Valley to take the class, but she attended a Grass Valley City Council meeting to clarify the class was open to everyone; Glenn Fluhr, SSFR Chief, stated SSFR provided fire fighter academy in the past and did not charge for the training even though it cost several thousand dollars; he emphasized emergency service entities should be working together, not billing one another; Glenn confirmed there had been a verbal agreement to pay the invoice; SSFR paid a similar invoice for EMT classes in 2013; although no formal agreement was made, because a verbal agreement was made and there is some precedence of SSFR paying a similar invoice in the past, the Court suggested splitting the bill in half so each entity pays approximately $1,200; the Court suggested any future agreements be formally discussed and documented; both boards will meet and make a formal decision to accept or reject the compromise, though those present seemed favorable towards the negotiation; discussion was held about the misconception that SSFR volunteers are not allowed to aid Sherman County Ambulance, if needed; no such policy exists, and volunteers can work for either entity as long as they get their required monthly hours; despite differences, Sherman County Ambulance and SSFR recognize they have the same goal of serving the citizens in Sherman County;
  • met with Jessica Metta, Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD), to discuss workforce housing; MCEDD has approximately $1.9 million dollars set aside for housing loans, and it may be possible to change the terms of the loan to better fit Sherman County; Sherman County has approximately $250,000 set aside specifically for workforce housing; the Court discussed providing those funds to MCEDD in loan form so MCEDD can loan the money out to workforce housing projects specifically in Sherman County; MCEDD has a loan officer and loan board working together to recommend approval, disapproval, or changes to any loan applications, and the entity has the expertise to monitor the funds; the Court was in favor of this possibility; Carol Olmstead, citizen of Wasco, stated many residents in Wasco do not want this kind of low-income housing in the city; the Court clarified workforce housing is not low-income housing, and its aim is to provide rentals to new teachers, warehouse workers, windfarm workers, and other middle-class employment positions; many of these employees cannot find rentals in Sherman County and either leave permanently or commute from The Dalles or other surrounding areas; bridge loans are available through the county, though this program has been underutilized; SIP guidelines for the workforce housing dollars will be double checked; MCEDD will begin working on outlining incentives to help make the workforce housing loans more attractive and accessible;
  • heard from Rod Asher, Weed District Director, and Tom Macnab, Grounds Maintenance Technician, that the pavilion and covered structure at DeMoss Park need maintenance work; the Court does not want the buildings to sit and deteriorate; the covered structure was damaged by a tree and could be demolished and replaced; the floor in the pavilion needs to be replaced; the trees at the park often loose branches and are too large for county staff to safely trim; Rod will contact vendors for quotes regarding tree maintenance and will begin research on possibilities for replacing the tree-damaged covered structure;
  • met with Ron McDermid, Justice of the Peace, Debbie Hayden, Finance Director, and Heath Gardner, Wenaha Group, to discuss the new Weed Department facility; the Conditional Use Permit was passed for the courthouse facility; the Weed Department facility is over budget; the building will be pole-built; due to the location and size of the project, bids were difficult to obtain; alternate options have been identified to lower some of the cost of the building; only building two bays will save $23,000, though if a third bay is added in the future, it will cost much more than the amount to be saved by not including it; the project team feels taking money from the contingency to cover the extra cost of the Weed Department facility will not leave enough in the contingency fund; potential strategies to lower the cost were discussed; Heath presented three options of how to approach the budget; some of the remaining twenty-one value engineering options can be implemented on the courthouse facility project, though the project team does not recommend this; all bids can be rejected and the Weed Department facility can be rolled into the courthouse facilities project and rebid, though this is not guaranteed to produce any savings; additional funds can be introduced into the budget to eliminate reducing the contingency for construction; Debbie explained over one million dollars is left in the SIP unallocated fund, and money can be transferred from this when needed, if needed; the Court supported introducing additional funds; the Court increased the budget for the Weed Department facility by up to $140,000 with the understanding that the project team will only use what is needed;
  • appointed Rick Whitaker to the Sherman County Ambulance Board to complete the term of Kathy Ahearn to expire December 2017;
  • reappointed Amber DeGrange to the Early Learning Hub Board as Sherman County’s representative for a term of two years to expire June 30, 2018;
  • approved the Intergovernmental Agreement for Single Trip Permit Authorization between Oregon Department of Transportation and Sherman County;
  • accepted Local Bridge Program grant funding in the amount of $879,126 (including a 10.27% local match) for work to be done on Finnegan Creek/Finnegan Road;
  • authorized the payment of regularly monthly county bills from the appropriate funds for the 2016-2017 fiscal year as recommended by the Sherman County Finance Office;
  • approved offering up to $200 to North Central Education Service District for the purchase of a refrigerator and freezer and approved of the expenditure if the offer is accepted;
  • approved the Resolution In the Matter of Opposing Measure 97;
  • approved the Order In the Matter of Authorizing the Sherman County Finance Director to Destroy Unissued County Checks Due to Incorrect Amounts and/or Printer Error;
  • entered into Biggs Service District Board of Directors and authorized the payment of Anderson Perry & Associates invoice 57998 in the amount of $10,000 and 58124 in the amount of $5,000 for design engineering and 57999 in the amount of $3,701.26 for reservoir site partition;
  • appointed Trevor Fields to the Weed Board for a term of 3 years to begin January 2017 and to expire December 2019;
  • discussed an unfunded mandate litigation update, DEQ compliance inspection results, and a Wasco Annex Reporter article;
  • heard reports from Court members about regional board activities.

2. Sherman County School District Board Meeting, Sept. 12

The Sherman County School District Board of Directors will hold a Regular Board Meeting with a Work Session at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, September 12, 2016. This meeting will be held in the meeting room of the Sherman County Public/School Library. 




3. Car is King + Maryhill Arts Festival, Oct. 1 & 2 

GOLDENDALE, Wash. — Celebrate Sam Hill’s love of roads, the automobile, and the arts October 1 & 2, 2016 during Car is King Weekend and the Maryhill Arts Festival. This free, two-day celebration of creativity in all its forms includes a classic car show, artist booths, food vendors, and hands-on art, an open drive on the historic Maryhill Loops Road, and a timed hill climb featuring vintage sports cars.  All activities are free on the grounds of Maryhill Museum of Art, unless otherwise noted.



Concours de Maryhill | 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Columbia River Highway as the car show features autos 1945 and older. The day concludes with an awards presentation and catered dinner at 4 p.m. FREE on museum grounds for spectators. Organized by Goldendale Motorsports Association. For more info:

Maryhill Arts Festival | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Browse and shop booths featuring Northwest artists working in a variety of media, including painting, glass art, jewelry, woodworking, ceramics and more. FREE on museum grounds.

Art Under the Tent | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kids of all ages can explore their creativity with a variety of hands-on art activities. FREE on the museum grounds.

Drive the Maryhill Loops Road | Noon to 2 p.m.
Take a spin past the beautiful scenery and through the historic road’s eight hairpin curves. FREE on the historic Maryhill Loops Road, located just east of US 97 off of State Route 14.

Family Fun: Veggie Car Races | 1 to 3 p.m.
Children can put their ingenuity to work transforming humble veggies into fantastically engineered cars and race them on a 12 foot ramp for thrills and chills. Kids of all ages are invited to participate in this fun outdoor activity. FREE on the museum grounds.

Dining | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Several locally operated food vendors will be on-site – Bake My Day during the day and Bob’s Texas T-Bone for dinner – as well as Loïe’s: The Museum Café inside Maryhill Museum of Art.


Maryhill Loops Hill Climb | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Vintage sports cars from the 1930s to 1960s race singly in a three-mile timed climb up the historic Maryhill Loops Road. FREE for spectators viewing the race from the Highway 97 Overlook and from designated viewpoints along the route.

Organized by the Maryhill Loops Vintage Hill Climb Association; only their approved cars and drivers will be competing. This program is assisted by members of the Tri-Cities Strictly British Motor Club; Yakima Valley Sports Car Club and Society of Vintage Racing EnthusiastsFor Entry Form or Information contact Starke Shelby at 206-230-0203. or

Maryhill Arts Festival | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Browse and shop booths featuring Northwest artists working in a variety of media, including painting, glass art, jewelry, woodworking, ceramics and more. FREE on museum grounds. 

Art Under the Tent | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Kids of all ages can explore their creativity with a variety of hands-on art activities. FREE on the museum grounds.

Dining | 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Visit Loïe’s: The Museum Café inside Maryhill Museum of Art.

Music | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Enjoy the Americana and bluegrass sounds of The Ryders from Seattle. (There will be breaks throughout the day.)

Car is King Weekend and the Maryhill Arts Festival is sponsored by the Goldendale Motor Sports Association, Maryhill Loops Vintage Hill Climb Association, Maryhill Museum of Art, Tri-Cities Strictly British Motor Club, and Yakima Valley Sports Car Club.

4. Honduras & Peru Optometric Mission Team Photo Slideshow, Sept. 19

glassesDr. James Ogden and members of his optometric mission team will present a photo slideshow of their  mission trip to Honduras and Peru on Monday, September 19th, at 7pm at the Goldendale Community Library.  Photos will include beautiful scenery as well as images of the people and culture of Central- and South America.   The show will feature Dr. Ogden’s work with 9 optometry students and two other doctors in Peru, followed by the mission team’s humanitarian efforts at “Heart to Heart, an orphanage and school in Honduras where they treated over 400 people.

Each year, Dr. Ogden travels with a team of volunteers to different places around the world to provide eye care to peoples in need.  Members of this year’s optometric mission included Ordell and Shirley Enstad, Betty Zesiger, Nic Foss, Cody Warren, Jim Hamilton and Larci Miller.

This program is free and open to the public.  For more information, call the Library, 773-4487.  (photo (c) James Ogden).

5. Strengthening Families: Free Parenting Class Series, Sept. 27-Nov. 8


6. Oregon’s Drought Taking Heavy Toll on Conifer Trees

tree.evergreen~ Oregon Department of Forestry

Oregon experienced record drought in 2013 through 2015, followed by another year of dry conditions in 2016, and those severe conditions are taking a toll on conifer trees. It’s important to remember “a few drops of rain doesn’t end the stress of drought on trees,” said Lena Tucker, Deputy Chief of the Private Forests Division for the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Symptoms of drought include foliage loss, dead branches, dead trees and tops. Drought-stressed trees are more susceptible to further damage by insects and other pathogens, and damage typically is most severe on the fringe of forested areas and on shallow or rocky soil types. Trees growing near roads, ditches, pastures, disturbed soil, or where there is competing vegetation are frequently affected.

Symptoms are most visible during the spring following a drought event, although recent droughts have been severe enough for symptoms to appear in late summer or fall.

People can take preventative care to help trees survive drought by doing the following:
-Plant native and local drought-tolerant species
-Don’t thin stands during droughts
-Control vegetation (especially grasses) that compete for soil moisture
-Remove and destroy dead and dying trees, blowdown and slash to reduce insect infestations
-Avoid damage from machines and soil compaction
-Irrigate landscape trees during dry weather, applying water slowly or use drip irrigation lines
-Apply mulch to landscape trees to retain moisture
-Don’t alter drainage patterns (ditches, ponds, etc.) near established trees
-Don’t fertilize during drought conditions. Fertilization stimulates dehydrates trees.